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Blog 7 Bible Verses about the Trinity: God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

7 Bible Verses about the Trinity: God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

03.06 7 Bible VersesAboutTheTrinity_BlogHeader

“In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.”

—The Westminster Confession of Faith 2.3

Ephesians 4:4–6

“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Commentary from the sermon “One God and Father of All” by Alistair Begg:

“That sounds a bit like three gods, doesn’t it? But of course, it isn’t. And so what Paul is doing here is he’s actually underscoring what we find elsewhere in the Bible—namely, that this God, this one God, is three-in-one. …

“Let me give you just a bit of [the Athanasian Creed]: ‘We worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is all one. … So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet there are not three Gods but one.’

“It is at best a formulation. It’s not an explanation, is it? How do you explain it? So I went looking for other people to explain it to me. … I go to Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and what does he say? ‘Do not try to understand this. No one can understand this. It is ultimately a mystery.’ I said, ‘Good! So I’ll just leave it there.’ And so may you.

“Listen: the Gospel is simple enough for a child to understand and embrace, but the Gospel is not simplistic. The truth of the Gospel is profound. You can search for your whole life, and you will be standing, as it were, on the shoreline, watching the waves come and go, but you will never see beyond the horizon. ‘Now we see through a glass, darkly’; one day we will see ‘face to face’ (1 Cor. 13:12).”

John 1:1–3

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

Commentary from the sermon “Who Is Jesus? — Part Two” by Alistair Begg:

“This logos was understood both by the Jewish and Greek mind to be this essential creating principle. ‘And,’ says John, ‘the Word’—whom he is going to identify as Jesus—was present ‘in the beginning.’ He existed before all creation. He was thereby uncreated, and He was eternal. ...

“Secondly, it reveals to us His personality. ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God’—‘was with God’—so that within the Godhead, He existed in living, active, intimate fellowship. He was not the Father, and He was not the Holy Spirit. He was the Son. He was distinct within the triune God.

“So we have His eternity, we have His personality, and we have His deity: ‘In the beginning was the Word.’ That’s eternity. ‘And the Word was with God.’ That’s personality. ‘And the Word was God.’ That’s deity. Although He was a separate person from the Father, He was not a separate being. … The divinity that belongs to the rest of God belongs to Jesus. … It means that we can therefore discover what God is like by looking at Jesus. And we can only and ultimately discover what God is like by looking at Jesus, so that when twentieth-century man says, ‘Well, you know, there is something within me that thinks there is a something, that there might be a God, that there might be some creative principle, but I’m not sure where I should look, or I’m not sure what I should do,’ the answer is ‘Consider Jesus.’”

John 16:7–11

“It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Holy Spirit” by Alistair Begg:

“The Holy Spirit … is a unique person, not simply a power or an influence. … You don’t have to listen too long to Christians speak to find one another referencing God the Holy Spirit in the neuter—referring to the Spirit of God as an entity or referring to Him as it: “The Spirit did this; it did that,” and so on. And so one of the fundamental and vital things for us to realize is that each person within the Trinity is actually personhood. It is only because the Holy Spirit is Himself a person that the Scriptures can warn us about grieving Him (Eph. 4:30). It is because of His personality … that His will may be resisted (Acts 7:51), that His work may be quenched (1 Thess. 5:19). …

“The problem throughout history and up into contemporary terms is what is referred to as modalism. … And it is a heresy: that there is one God who appears in three modes. Sometimes you find Him appearing as the Father, and then sometimes you find Him appearing in another mode as the Son, and sometimes you find Him appearing in a third mode as the Spirit. But no, the Bible says that is not the case. … These are three distinct persons within one eternal being. It’s mysterious—there’s no question of that. There’s nothing like it in the other world religions.

“Secondly, the Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son. One with the Father and the Son. That’s why when you read these verses, you discover that the Holy Spirit is referred to as being sent by the Father (John 14:26), and also the Holy Spirit is referred to as being sent by the Son (John 15:26). And the Holy Spirit acts for them both.”

John 16:13–15

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Incarnation, Explained by Jesus” by Alistair Begg:

“When you go back into your Bible, you will discover that the Trinity is at work: God the Father initiating, God the Son complying, and God the Spirit executing. Think about it in relationship to salvation: God the Father plans it, God the Son procures it, and God the Spirit applies it to our lives. So what God the Father has planned in all of eternity in conjunction with the other members of the Trinity is then carried out by the Son and then is applied to people’s lives by the Spirit, who takes the Bible when someone is speaking or explaining and rings a bell inside of your head and said, ‘You know, what this fellow is talking about is exactly what you require.’ And all the elements of the Godhead are involved in that.”

Isaiah 53:10

“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
 he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
 he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.’”

Commentary from the sermon “The Man Who Is God — Part One” by Alistair Begg:

“The business of the Lord Jesus, if we might put it in that way, was that He was coming to shed His blood and the blood of the new covenant. He was—as the writer says in Hebrews 12:24 … ‘the mediator of a new covenant.’ He was in the world because of a specific relation with His Father. All right?

“Now, in order to understand the relationship between the work of Christ and the will of God, theologians speak in terms of a covenant of redemption. … And in speaking of a covenant of redemption, they are describing a pretemporal …, pre-incarnational agreement between the Father and the Son, in which the Son agrees to complete the task assigned by the Father. And indeed, His whole incarnation, His whole coming, is directly related to the fact that He understands that He is to be about the Father’s business. In other words, He didn’t come to earth and then make the discovery of what it was He was planning on doing. No, it was determined from eternity that this would be the role that He would fulfill. And in becoming incarnate, He was going to fulfill the expectations of the Father.”

John 1:14–17

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.”’) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

Commentary from the sermon “Who Is Jesus? — Part Two” by Alistair Begg:

“Without the incarnation, we do not have God upon the cross, just a man. Right? If Jesus of Nazareth is not God, then Jesus of Nazareth on the cross is just a man. If we have simply a man on the cross, how then can we describe what happened on the cross, as the New Testament describes it, in terms of a self-giving divine act demonstrating the love of God for humanity? We can’t, because it isn’t that. If it was just a man on the cross, then wherein lies the significance of His death? Who cares? …

“If all we have on the cross is just a man, we are left to conclude that His death was somehow or another simply to make a religious point. And that’s what liberal theologians say: ‘You know, the death of Jesus was to make a religious point which will somehow or another enrich our spiritual lives.’ I’m not grabbing that, are you? The death of an ordinary Galilean peasant made a religious point which enriches my life. Uh-huh? Okay, now, let me think about that for a moment. Okay, I’ve thought about it. I’m not getting it.

“Let’s look and see what the Bible actually says. What the Bible actually says is that it was God on the cross, and He was redeeming sinners; and that only God could do it, since only God was perfect; and that only man could do it, since only man must pay; and since it must be God and it must be man, it could only be a God-man that could make an atoning sacrifice for sin—that ‘God was,’ in Christ, ‘reconciling the world to himself’ (2 Cor. 5:19); that He entrusted Himself into the care of His Father as He offered up His life as an atonement for sin (1 Peter 2:23). But you see, twentieth-century America has no place for sin. The average self-made man has no place for sin. He has clean fingernails and nicely starched cuffs. He doesn’t need a Savior, and so it’s irrelevant to him, the incarnation. As soon as he decides he needs a Savior, then he might be prepared to think about the incarnation. But for now, it’s an appendix.

“So without the incarnation, we only have a man on the cross. If we only have a man on the cross, then we have no solution for sin.”

Hebrews 10:11–18

“Every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

“And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,’ then he adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’ Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.”

Commentary from the sermon “It Is Finished!” by Alistair Begg:

“The Holy Spirit is the one member of the Trinity that applies the truths of Christ to our lives. That’s what Jesus promised. He was going to go away. He would send the Holy Spirit, who would be with us and who would be in us, and who would take the things of the Lord Jesus Christ and make them real to us in our lives, so that when we talked about this strange experience of knowing God in an intimate way, that it would be something far beyond a mathematical formula, that it would be something beyond some kind of religious externalism, but it would be a reality in our experience—an inexplicable reality to those who do not know Christ, for the natural man and woman does not receive the things of the Spirit, because they’re foolishness to them (1 Cor. 2:14), and they think that the believer is describing some algebraic formula of theology. But once their eyes would be opened, once they would understand the sacrifice of Calvary, once they would be redeemed by God’s Spirit, once they would be made members of the family, then all would be new. …

“And what does He do? How does the Spirit of God testify? He testifies through the Word of God …. What does He say to us in our day? He says what He has said within this book, and He reminds His readers of the wonder of the sacrifice. He says, ‘Do you want an encouragement in relationship to these things? Get ahold of this: the covenant that God has made with us after that time is one in which He put His law in our hearts; He writes these things on our minds.’ And then He adds—and what an addition!—‘Their sins and [their] lawless acts I will remember no more.’

“You see, under the old covenant, there was this constant reminder of sins! Constant reminder of the fact that they could not be freed from these sins. Under the new covenant, there is this wonderful reminder of the sacrifice for sin—planned by the Father, procured by the Son, and applied by the Holy Spirit.”

Getting the Holy Spirit in Focus

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.